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twofires

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About twofires

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  1. This looks fantastic. I'm very happy with the UB900 for 4k, Netflix, etc., but it's a bit of a pain to use as a CD player in my lounge room setup - tiny screen, hidden buttons, stupid fascia door, reliance on the OSD. This looks like it solves some of these issues, and the XLR will plug into my integrated amp nicely. I'm just hoping it's a usable cdp without the need for OSD, and that it has a pure direct mode. The AVS article suggests it'll still have Netflix, which means it'll certainly cut into Oppo 205 sales (I understand the argument for what Oppo has done, I just disagree with it).
  2. Excellent. I don't think there's anything quite as fun as a big, old, efficient 12" belting out tunes, except maybe a big, old, efficient 12" belting out tunes while you enjoy a beer.
  3. If you have a big head, and prefer your music on the brighter side of natural, the Audio-Technica Art series headphones are great value for money. I have the ATH-A700x (closed back). Not a mellow sound, but not painful. Fun, is how I'd describe them. I A/Bed them with some very nice Oppo planar magnetics, and the Oppos sounded lifeless, comparatively. The ATs are comfortable on the head, with a very long, tangle-free cable. The open backed versions (AD instead of A) are also well regarded.
  4. At the risk of turning this into a slightly different "Nostalgia for Old Garbage" thread, the best return on investment I got on audio gear was the $50 I paid for a pair of Aiwa SX-810s. I was 20 something, working at a Dick Smith, studying things I'd never use outside drunken party conversation, and until that point my audio experience was limited to a series of terrible roadside amps (15 watts and scratchy pots) and speakers from a dinky little Akai all-in-one. I wasn't far from Vic Markets that day - intending to trawl Heartland Records for terrible German electro- industrial music - when I decided to to do the student thing and stop by Cashies. "3-way is better than 2-way," I thought, "and whatever Music Power is, 80 watts seems like a lot!" I was on foot, so after handing over half a day's casual pay, I tied the speakers up using the bell wire they came with and carted them around the city for half a day before catching the tram home. They were (and still are) thick, heavy MDF, it was a sticky summer, and I was in my 'black shirt and black jeans at all times' phase. It was a lot of work. I got them home, hooked them to the DSE A2760 I'd bought with my meagre staff discount, and instantly knew I'd spent well. I mean, compared to my current setup the treble is tizzy and the bass flabby - but I'm comparing $50 to $2700. Back then I wouldn't have spent $2700 on a car, let alone speakers. Years of music fly by. Eventually the DSE lost a channel and found its way to the bottom of a skip. Houses in which the Aiwas had resided were sold, renovated, or demolished. Friendships built as they pumped away at house parties slowly broke down the way friendships often do. But here the speakers sit - unassuming, unchanged. When I find a suitably cheap amp to pair them to I might set them up again. Eventually, when my newborn daughter is old enough, I might give them to her. See if she can't blow them up with whatever is popular 15 years from now.
  5. Bluray Pure Audio, DVD-A and SACDs

    Fair call. I have an HD Fury that could probably do B, however I've found it to be a bit temperamental (random dropouts) and annoying (needs more amperage than your typical receiver's USB utility port, necessitating an additional power pack). Luckily I haven't heavily invested in the Pure Audio format, so I don't feel too bad about lacking the determination to fix the problem. Good advice for others, though. Anyway, apologies to the OP for going off topic.
  6. Bluray Pure Audio, DVD-A and SACDs

    The Amy Winehouse - Back To Black Pure Audio disc sounds pretty sibilant and rough. I'd avoid it, personally. Sidenote: the thing that annoys me about Pure Audio is actually not to do with Pure Audio at all, but DRM. I can play Pure Audio Bluray via my Panasonic UB900, but if I output to the DAC in my amp via optical I'm limited to 48kHz. If I want to play it in its native 192kHz format, I have to either a) use an HDMI receiver, or b ) use the Panasonic's onboard DAC (make unknown) and output analogue. It sounds well enough, but really, for my setup there's no real advantage over CD or DVD. Not a problem for you and your very nice transport, however!
  7. Amp recommendations Kef R500

    No experience personally, so it might be great, but it's worth noting that R500s are less efficient than the 700s (smaller drivers and whatnot). And even then, who knows what the reviewers were listening to. Noodley piano jazz at 2 metres away probably sounds fine. Drum and bass at 4 metres away, probs not! What kind of music do you listen to? This is a good point. What kind of streaming were you looking at? If it's just Spotify and internet radio, a $59 Chromecast Audio will sort you for not much outlay. They sound pretty good with the optical out once you set them and the steaming app to the dynamic range setting. A stereo integrated with a DAC should sort the rest, and quite a few good ones have been recommended above. I'm not in Perth so I'm not sure what they're like, but no joy with West Coast Hi-Fi re: demoing Musical Fidelity, Arcam, Rotel etc.?
  8. SL1200 Upgrade Considerations

    Your little old wallet, too!
  9. SL1200 Upgrade Considerations

    Before I bought the SL1200, Clearaudio was at the top of my "if I buy new" list. Seemed the most complete package available at a reasonable-ish price. Never heard a bad word about them.
  10. +1 Monitor Audio second hand. I grabbed a second hand pair of Silver S6 Floorstanders a couple of years back for my dad. Cost was about $380, which remains the best bang for buck deal I've ever had. To this day I have a "Monitor Audio" eBay search saved, just in case!
  11. Amp recommendations Kef R500

    Looking at it on paper, the Hegel probably won't deal with the R500s when you need to get down low. As for the Arcam, as @thathifiguy has pointed out, the KEFs get down to 3ohms at the lower end of things, and it's just not clear from the specs how the Arcam will behave when that happens: Continuous power output (20Hz—20kHz at 0.5% THD), per channel Both channels, 8Ω, 20Hz—20kHz: 120W Single channel, 4Ω, at 1kHz: 240W Harmonic distortion, 80% power, 8Ω at 1kHz: 0.001% See how they try to suggest the power doubles as the impedance halves, but it doesn't really? 1kHz for one channel Vs 20Hz-20kHz for two? Admittedly Rotel don't provide the 4ohm figures at all anymore, although all the testing I've read about suggests they have no problems in this department. As for looks, both Arcam and Rotel have a similar thing going on, although the Rotel is a bit taller and has an obnoxiously bright blue standby LED (to their credit, they provide a sticker to cover this if you prefer). My only other suggestion would be something by Peachtree, as they are exceptionally pretty amps. The Nova 300 could handle anything, and even the 150 might be enough. I have no experience with them, however, so you'd need to ask about.
  12. Amp recommendations Kef R500

    I went through this process recently with my Q700s, before deciding on a Rotel RA-1592 for $3k new (RRP is $3.5k, but most stores will shave that down a tad if you ask nicely). I had been leery of the brand based on the usual comments about Rotel being bright and fatiguing, but found it was completely unwarranted. It's a whopping big amp (200w a side) with a nice DAC that does exactly what it says on the tin, albeit far more cleanly than you'd expect. Subsequent to audition, I chose it over the similarly specced (and somewhat more expensive) Parasound Halo Integrated, and I regret nothing. Well, no, that's a lie. I wish it were prettier. That's about it. If prettiness is a concern, I'm sure you could haggle a Yamaha A-S2100 down to $3200ish. It's not as powerful, but VU meters can make you forget these things.
  13. Break/Burn in. Is it Real?

    I'm inclined to agree with the OP, at least, for some things. In favour of the psychosomatic argument - people do habituate to stimuli, and come to expect them presented in a certain way. The first time I tried that Red Rock Deli Thai Chilli and Lime dip with all the coriander in it, my taste buds revolted. But over time, I've come to like it. The recipe hasn't changed, just my parameters for acceptable dips. On the burn in/wear in side of things, the picture is more complicated. Everything with mechanical properties will change over time, it's just a matter of whether it's a perceptible amount (audiophiles tend to believe almost everything is perceptible). To give a bicycle analogy (I'll do this a lot, you'll find) - a leather saddle will definitely wear in perceptibly, whereas a bicycle frame will change, but generally not perceptibly so (outright failure notwithstanding). Also, as has been pointed out, there's the issue of warm up, which is definitely true for certain materials and parts. Bearing drag will change as the oil or grease heats up and the viscosity changes, and aluminium drivers may change sound slightly as they warm and the metal expands (depending on the tolerances). Again, I don't think this extends to inert parts whose function does not involve movement or fit. I'm of the firm belief that some types of burn in are myths perpetuated by retailers and manufacturers to soothe the fussy audiophile long enough for them to habituate to their purchase.
  14. Retailer margins

    The box of magic is sold at minimal profit by the manufacturer, who promptly makes it back on the tiny cartridges of magic juice it runs on. It's a fairly standard ploy - make a loss on the thing that gets you a steady stream of purchases. Game consoles are another example, albeit a more rewarding one.
  15. SL1200 Upgrade Considerations

    This is good advice. The only advantage of the SL120 is it's easier to rewire and swap arms, but honestly I think the quartz lock is more important. There are plenty mkiis out there, although most need a good service. I replaced the headshell on mine with an AudioTechnica TechniHard (stiffer, allows azimuth adjustment), added a MC AudioTechnica cartridge, and bought an Emotiva XPS1 pre-amp. It sounds pretty good to me. I bought the KAB fluid damper, but was told by the ex-Panasonic engineer who serviced the table that these are largely a gimmick and not necessary if everything is well adjusted. I've also been told by a multiple SL1200 owner that rewiring is a worthwhile upgrade, but the rest (brass platters, different bearings) is just bling. If you're going to spend that much, just import one of the super expensive new decks.
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